Joleen and I are both on track to be ordained Elders in The United Methodist Church on June 11, 2011 (a little over 11 months from now). It’s been a long journey, but we’re now in the final year, the home stretch.
Here are the requirements we must complete in the final year …
- Application for Clergy Membership
- Three personal reference forms
- District Superintendent recommendation form
- Medical exam form
- Written responses to theological questions in the Book of Discipline.
- Design and record worship service based on Joel 2.23-32
- Ordination Project
- Meet bi-monthly with mentor
- Meet quarterly with regional learning covenant group (others in the process)
- Overnight retreat (September 2010)
- General Board of Global Ministries seminar (January 2011)
- Board of Ordained Ministry interviews (March 2011)
- Training Day on “Church Finances” (March 2011)
- Overnight retreat with Bishop (May 2011)
- Approval at Clergy Session of the Susquehanna Annual Conference (June 2011)
The changes that were made to the process heading into the final year ended the requirement of Covenant Groups (made up of people from our congregations; it’s being replaced by the regional learning covenant groups, made up of others who are going through the process with us). However, our covenant groups, which have been meeting together, have chosen to continue meeting for the next year, anyway, as we complete our reading/study of Simple Church, by Thom Rainer. (Needless to say, it’s been a positive experience!)
The bulk of the work must be completed in the next 5.5 months (by January 13, 2011). After submitting our work, we will be interviewed by four teams of people on the Board of Ordained Ministry in early March. The four teams will address different areas: Theology (on our responses to the questions in the Book of Discipline), Ordination Project (on a 15-minute multimedia presentation of our project and a 2-3 page spiritual reflection paper), Life Issues (on the medical/reference forms and one question from the Book of Discipline), and Worship & Preaching (on the recording of a worship service based on assigned text).
It’s going to be a busy year. It’s going to be an especially busy 4.5 months (after vacation later this month). If we successfully complete all of these steps, we will ordained at the next annual conference of the newly-formed Susquehanna Conference, June 11, 2011!